NORMAN — After Blake Bell played a key role in Oklahoma's 41-25 win over Texas A&M Saturday afternoon on Owen Field he was asked if he likes the term “Belldozer” for the Sooners' new package.
“That's not bad,” Bell said. “I've heard BB Gun and a few others. There are some good ones out there. Belldozer might work.”
Call it what you like, but Bell has provided OU's offense with a spark on third-and-short and goal-line plays — an area where the Sooners have been inconsistent.
Offensive coordinators Kevin Wilson and Josh Heupel sometimes the past two seasons have felt compelled to pass on short yardage situations to assure picking up a first down or scoring a touchdown.
Moving the chains isn't an issue with Bell.
Bell's final stats (37 yards rushing) don't tell the entire story of his impact on Saturday's win.
“He gives us our best opportunity to pick something up,” Heupel said. “This game was a little bit different. We were in a lot of third-and-short situations, more than usual. The other part of it was the fourth quarter was a little different as well.”
Through three quarters, when the outcome was still uncertain, Bell was on the field for 10 plays.
OU was 6-of-7 on third-and-short situations with the “Belldozer” package through three quarters. The Sooners also scored two touchdowns on Bell runs of 2 and 4 yards.
“I'm excited about it. We're starting to run it a lot now,” Bell said. “Give the O-line credit. Coaches say to score their man. If they do that, I'm going to score. That's what I'm doing, just following their blocks.”
It's not complicated. Bell takes the snap, steps back and decides where to charge ahead like a bull.
“It's basically going right up the middle,” Bell said. “It's a great formation. It's just up to the coaches when to use it. They come up with good schemes. It's going to be fun.”
The only time the package failed the first three quarters was Bell overthrew fullback Trey Millard on third-and-1 early in the third quarter.
Because of the fast pace, Bell races on the field and quarterback Landry Jones runs off. Once Bell picks up a first down, Jones runs back onto the field. Is there any concern it might affect Jones' rhythm?
“Nah,” Heupel said. “He's handled it well. Landry understands why we're doing it. He enjoys the package, too.”
Bell, a redshirt freshman, one of the nation's top quarterback recruits in the 2010 class, certainly enjoys the package.
“I love doing it,” Bell said. “It's a chance for me to get on the field and help the team.”
The Sooners call it the “wildcat”, but that doesn't fit their scheme. Most wildcat formations are run by a running back. OU's package features a quarterback with a cannon arm.
Does Heupel endorse “Belldozer?”
“That one has a chance,” Heupel said. “I don't like some of the others.”
Regardless what the package is called the Sooners have a weapon that might be needed even more with All-America wide receiver Ryan Broyles out with a season ending knee injury.
“(Bell) did a great job with the different ways we are using him in that formation,” said coach Bob Stoops. “It's really helped us in goal-line and short yardage. He's big. They've done a good job blocking for him, and he's doing a nice job of patience, finding seams. It's been positive for us.”
Since the package debuted last week, Bell has heard many discussions on the formation — from what to name it to that's how Tim Tebow's career started at Florida.
“You can't help but hear people talking,” Bell said. “But I've really just played in two games so far. There's nothing really big that's happened. I just need to keep working and get better at it.”